Why Is Genetic Testing Important in Finding Cancer Risk?

April 9, 2019
Monika Sharda, ASCO staff

Genetic testing can help predict your chance of developing some types of cancer, including breast and ovarian cancers. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology examined records of more than 83,000 women with breast or ovarian cancer and found that less than half of them had received genetic testing.share on twitter In this podcast, one of the study’s authors, Dr. Allison W. Kurian, MD, MSc, explains the key findings and why they are important.

Highlights from the conversation include: 

  • How genetic testing is used for breast and ovarian cancers [2:27].

  • What researchers were hoping to learn from the study [4:32].

  • The study’s key findings, including why women without health insurance and African-American women may be less likely to receive genetic testing [5:27].

  • The importance of talking with your doctor about genetic testing [9:52].

Dr. Kurian is a medical oncologist at Stanford University, where she is also the director of the Women's Cancer Genetics Clinic. She is also a Cancer.Net Specialty Editor for Breast Cancer.

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